Playback in Community:
Reaching Toward the Futures We Want

Conference & Performance Festival
March 6-19, 2022

We are thrilled to welcome you, PNA members, to share your wisdom, skill, and curiosity with playbackers in our network and beyond! If you joined the 2020 Unconference, you know what a rich and invigorating experience it can be to immerse yourself in Playback perspectives from across the continent. To offer this participatory peer learning experience, we need your support! Whether you are brand new to Playback or have been practicing for decades, there is a place for you in this Conference.

Please read this entire page for details and consider where your support might best fit.

The submission deadline for conference session facilitators and performance festival shows is SATURDAY FEBRUARY 5th, 2022. The call for volunteer support is requested as soon as possible, but will be ongoing.

Submission details

When considering what to propose for your contribution to the Conference, consider this non-exhaustive list of session and show types we are looking for. 

It is our hope that the Conference will provide a mix of these areas:

Types of Conference Session 

Identity Affinity Groups

Closed spaces for people with the same identities to connect. Some identities you might consider: race, gender, sexuality, disability, class, region, and more. 

Supporting change in your local community with playback

Sessions focused on:

  • Outreach and partnership building 
  • Tailoring rehearsals & shows to community needs 
  • Strengthening social impact of your shows 
  • Fundraising for community partnerships 
  • Getting people to come to your shows

Troupe Development

Sessions focused on:

  • Troupe culture
  • Managing conflicts 
  • New members 
  • Sustaining diversity of social identities in troupe 
  • Money 
    • How are people paid? 
    • Getting well-paid gigs
    • Troupe fundraising 

Deepening Artistic Practice

Sessions focused on practice and playback skill development:

  • Listening skills
  • Layers of a story
  • Scenework
  • Metaphor
  • Physicality
  • Music 

Show Topics

For shows, we are especially hoping for themes that deal with specific social issues of power and transformation. Some themes you might consider: 

  • Covid-19
  • Marginalized identities
  • Social justice organizing
  • Collective and systemic themes (e.g. consumerism, globalization, climate change, imperialism, partisan divides, democracy, etc.) 
  • Personal transformations (healing, repairing conflict & harm, finding your passions, etc.) 

Your submissions do not need to be completely fleshed out, though a stronger vision of your offering may help your submission. Submissions do not need to be written formally. If you are open to offering multiple of the above topics, please indicate that on your submission form! 

The Curation Team* will meet and collaboratively select the Conference Sessions and Performance Festival Shows. As we review session and show submissions, we will evaluate them in four main ways:

Quality & Skill of Offering

Contributions to Diversity

Relevance to Theme 

Supportive to Your Growth

Skill of facilitator, thoughtfulness of proposal

Ensures the conference represents a wide range of identities and offerings

Related to community, social change, and power.

The facilitator or performers will grow through this offering as well as participants. 

You may note that this is a different approach than the Unconference’s anyone-can-offer-a-session set up. This was a careful decision intended to allow the conference to be less overwhelming and accessible for administrators and participants. Since PNA has year-round offerings, if you are not selected, we will work with you to find other times of the year that you might share your submission! 

*Currently, the Conference Curation Team members who will be making session selections are:

  • Peter Abrams (PNA Advisor) 
  • Leslie Becknell Marx (PNA Steering Committee) 
  • Darrick Jackson (PNA Steering Committee)
  • Phil Speiser (PNA Advisor) 
  • Allison Sokolowski (PNA Assistant Coordinator) 
  • Clarissa Worcester (PNA Coordinator)

*If you would like to join the Conference Curation Team to participate in the selection process, contact before February 4th.

Conference Session & Performance Festival Show Selection Timeline

Saturday, February 5

Deadline for session & show submissions

Friday, Feb 11

Submissions are notified of decision

Friday, February 18

Deadline for submissions to confirm their conference slot & submit session abstract

Monday, February 21

Public Announcement of the Conference & Performance Festival Line-up

March 6-19

Conference & Performance Festival

Playback in Community is a collaborative event focused on peer learning with a financial structure that is prioritizing accessible prices for participation. This event provides the largest source of funding for PNA’s activities. As such, we invite you to facilitate conference sessions and perform shows for Playback in Community as a way to contribute your time and wisdom to the PNA community and lean into your growth edges as a facilitator and performer. 


Conference Session Facilitators

Performing Troupes

Conference Support Roles


$50 stipend + 75% of all a la carte ticket sales to troupe’s show 


*except for 2 paid PNA coordinators

We are happy to offer the above compensation to performing troupes if it supports your participation, though performing troupes are welcome and encouraged to donate their stipend & a la carte sales back to PNA if they are able to comfortably do so. 

Cost to Attend

To help you understand our financial structure, here is what tickets for the conference and festival will cost:

Conference Tickets for PNA Members

Public Festival Pass

Public Festival a la Carte Show Tickets 

Admission to all Conference sessions and all 8 Festival performances

Admission to all 8 Festival performances

Admission to 1 particular Festival performance

$25-150 sliding scale* with pay-what-you-can option** 


*$75 is considered a “full cost” ticket

**Email to pay under $25.

$35-80 sliding scale*


*No pay-what-you-can, but become PNA member and get conference pass at PWYC rates

$15-30 sliding scale*


*No pay-what-you-can, but become PNA member and get conference pass at PWYC rates

The recent and ongoing leadership transition has been all about reaching towards a more collaborative and participatory PNA. To achieve this, we need your support! Please consider volunteering for the  Conference Support Roles below. 

To learn more about these roles, talk about your interests, and explore what might be fun for you, please complete this simple, quick volunteer interest form.

Role Title


Time Commitment

Volunteers needed 

Volunteer Recruiters

  • Recruit roles listed below

January – March 



Community Care Team 

  • Available to receive reports of harm, conflict, or discomfort. 
  • Set up other feedback mechanisms 
  • Support peer connections

March 1 – 21


Session Assistants/

Session Care Team

  • One present per workshop or performance to share conference info and support (tech, chat, recording, etc.) 

March 1 – 21 


Publicity Team / Marketing 

  • Create marketing resources 
  • Publicize conference 

January – March 21


Curation Team

  • Design conference/festival arc 
  • Recruit troupes to perform
  • Recruit workshop hosts 
  • Create conference/ festival criteria
  • Select troupes to perform 
  • Select workshops 

January – February



Equity Team 

  • Determine access and equity priorities — liaise with other roles to ensure them 
  • Create access and equity materials for welcome packet

January – March 21